Unconscious Patient Says Doctors Mocked Him
FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) - Doctors mocked an unconscious colonoscopy patient, joking that he has syphilis and talking about firing a gun up his rectum, says a man whose cellphone allegedly captured audio of the entire affair.
Plaintiff D.B. sued Safe Sedation LLC and Safe Sedation Management in Fairfax County Court, alleging defamation and infliction of emotional distress.
"On April 18, 2013, during a colonoscopy, plaintiff was verbally brutalized and defamed by the very doctors to whom he entrusted his life while under anesthesia," the complaint states.
D.B. claims that Drs. Tiffany Ingham and Soloman Shah, who are not named as defendants, mocked him from the second the anesthesia kicked in.
D.B. claims he had inadvertently left his phone in the room, set to record, having neglected to turn it off after recording instructions for post-operative care.
"The moment that plaintiff became unconscious, Tiffany Ingham, M.D. commented to all of the others in the operating room 'Oh - Oscar Mike Goss.' That is a thinly disguised substitute for the expression 'OMG', which is an expression of both exasperation and mockery, and is a well-known abbreviation for 'Oh my God,'" the complaint states.
It adds: "Tiffany Ingham, M.D. started to mock, and then continued to mock, the amount of medicine required to anesthetize plaintiffs.
"Referring to plaintiff, Soloman Shah, M.D. commented that a teaching physician known to both him and Tiffany Ingham, M.D. 'would eat him for lunch.'
"Tiffany Ingham, M.D. agreed that plaintiff would be 'eaten alive' and also jokingly discussed a hypothetical of firing a gun up a rectum."
D.B. claims his phone caught Ingham talking to his unconscious self, saying, "And really, after five minutes of talking to you in pre-op I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit."
The tape allegedly caught the doctors discussing D.B.'s prescription medication and an irritation on his penis.
"A medical assistant at GMA touched plaintiff's penis during the colonoscopy," the complaint states. "Although plaintiff's penis is not involved in a colonoscopy, the medical assistant noted there was not 'much of a penile rash.' Tiffany Ingham, M.D. responded, 'No, you'll accidentally rub up against it. Some syphilis on your arm or something.' Solomon Shah, M.D. responded, 'That would be bad. That would be real bad.'"
The complaint adds: "Tiffany Ingham, M.D. then stated to all present in the operating suite that, 'It's probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you'll be all right.'"
D.B. says he doesn't have either disease.
The complaint states that the doctors talked about "misleading and avoiding" him after he woke up.
"A female medical assistant at GMA recalled that plaintiff had earlier warned that he passes out when looking at the placement of an IV, to which Tiffany Ingham, M.D. asked 'Well, why are you looking then, retard?' the man claims. "Tiffany Ingham, M.D. also described plaintiff as a 'big wimp.'"
He claims the doctors continued to discuss how to avoid him after he woke up, and mocked him for going to Mary Washington College, suggesting that "it was unsurprising that plaintiff attended a college that at one time was a 'women's college,' a 'girl's school,' and wondered if plaintiff was gay."
The complaint states: "Tiffany Ingham, M.D. stated, 'Are you implying that he's gay? Because I know gay men that have more manliness than' the plaintiff. 'And I'm sure I know gay men in the military who just haven't let it be known that they're gay who are manly.'"
In a final remark caught on tape, Ingham allegedly said she would make a note on the man's file that he had hemorrhoids even though he didn't.
D.B. claims that he and his wife discovered that the procedure had been recorded on their ride home, listening in disgust.
"Plaintiff has suffered distress, including embarrassment, loss of sleep, and mental anguish, as a direct and proximate result of the conduct of defendant's agent Tiffany Ingham, M.D.," he says.
He seeks $1 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages for defamation, infliction of emotional distress and illegally disclosing his health records.
He is represented by Mikhael Charnoff with Perry Charnoff in Arlington.